Are you wondering about how to store firewood to avoid termites? If you keep your firewood outside, termite infestation is bound to happen unless you take some necessary precautions. So what are these precautionary measures?
Understanding what attracts termites, signs of termite infestation, and how to detect them helps store firewood safely without termite encroachment. There are also fool-proof ways to kill or remove termites from infested wood piles. Additionally, piling wood inches away from the ground will help avoid termites.
To help you store your firewood safely, we have compiled the best ways to store your stacks away from termite’s reach. We will also discuss detecting termites and other pests and ways of repelling them from your stack. Let us begin!
What Attracts Termites To Firewood?
The type of firewood you use attracts a specific type of termite. For example, damp wood attracts termites needing moisture, while dry wood attracts the opposite. Termites live in colonies in suitable environments and feed in the woods.
The termites look at wood as their primary food source. The moisture helps them with hydration, and together they form an ideal breeding and living condition for these pests. One of their species, such as the subterranean termites, looks for moist soils around the wood.
The moisture and wood placement attract termites to create a colony. These pests make mud tubes between the wood and the soil for traveling to and fro when retaining moisture and hydration. Hence, if you do not assess your firewood frequently, you might find your logs infested with these termite links.
Not to forget, your residential area and climate also attract termites. If you live in a high-humidity area with the weather warm most of the year, your wood will face termite infestation. These places need proper pest control to keep your firewood and home safe against infestation.
We strongly advise you to keep wood away from your home and on an elevated surface, so the stack does not touch the moist soil that harbors these pests. If you keep your firewood stacks outdoors over moist soil, you will likely notice termites eating the wood foundation. Hence, your wood placement, geographical area, and nearby soil temperatures are crucial in attracting these wood-eating termites.
How To Detect Termites in Firewood?
If you notice small tunnels on your firewood pile, that is a clear sign of termite infestation. Subterranean termites attack logs by creating a tunnel from the moist soil underneath the woods. These mud tunnels help source water and food for the colony and also deteriorate the firewood.
Thus, storing your firewood supply on elevated platforms is crucial, away from moist soil and out of termites’ reach.
These holes or tunnels lead to an underground colony where the termites feed and help their termite queen breed and replenish the population. This means that waiting too long will make it more difficult to stop the infestation.
The termites eat through the foundation of the firewood, making it almost useless for lighting up your fireplace or cooking. The only good thing about these mud tunnels is that they are visible through the naked eye. So they are not a hassle to detect.
One way to check whether these mud tunnels are active is by opening them. If you break up one and find white termites, these are the worker insects that keep the colony alive. The presence of white termites means there’s an active and infested colony underground which will start gnawing at your firewood stack very soon.
While looking for termites in your dry wood stock, check for infested logs that are no longer useful. They are often found at the bottom of the pile, in close contact with moist soil.
How To Store Your Firewood To Avoid Termites
The best way to store firewood without attracting termites is to keep it outside on an elevated platform. These changes in the firewood pile storage system will help to deter termite infestation. While outside storage can attract moisture, the high surface will keep the wood away from moist soil.
We suggest building or buying an elevated surface to maintain its structure under all weather conditions. The best placement would be under the sun. For rainy weather and monsoon season, get yourself a tarp sheet. You can use it to cover the wood and avoid any moisture retention.
Storing your wood outside not only deters termites but also other pets such as:
- Various species of beetles
Many of these insects and bugs can bore through wood placed inside your home, infesting the structure and making it unfit for fire. And more insects nesting in your indoor wood storage means more infestation at home!
Fortunately, sunny outdoors, dry climate, and the open-air help store firewood safely, helping to avoid critters on the wood and inside your home.
After placing your firewood outside, you must take care of your outdoor property. For example, keep your shrubs and bushes trimmed to avoid bug nests. You also need to remove fallen leaves and crumpets from the soil to prevent them from attracting bugs and insects.
The soil gets the moistest when it snows in the winter season. During this time, rake the leaves and plow the snow from the outdoor area as much as possible. Doing so ensures a drier atmosphere for the logs of wood.
How To Avoid Termites Entirely?
How you use and treat firewood factors into avoiding termites and infestation. You need to store the wood in such a way that it’s not near a termite colony’s source of nourishment. While outdoors and elevated surfaces help to keep the wood pile safe, you can also avoid the termites entirely.
The following tips will help you avoid termites and keep your firewood dry and ready for use all year.
- The oldest logs are likely to be infested. Use them up first to avoid spreading the infestation onto other logs stacked together.
- Visit your stack of firewood and give the wood a good shake a few times a week. Doing so will help to break mud tunnels and webs, stopping the infestation.
- Cut the wood into smaller, more manageable pieces before storage. Doing so helps to manage them quickly and keep them safe against termite infestation.
- Do not store firewood racks for too long. The longer you stack them, the higher your chances of termite infestation.
- Do not keep the firewood supply against any wooden walls or structures. If the foundations were already infested, the termites will travel directly and build colonies under the wood.
- Keep the firewood far from your home as much as possible. We advise keeping the wood piles at least 20 to 30 feet (6.1 to 9.1 meters) away from your house as the safest option.
- Try to keep your firewood stack’s moisture content under 20%. Here is a YouTube video that adequately explains how to calculate this accurately: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-NDgwJnC1I
How To Repel Existing Termites in Stored Firewoods?
If your firewood logs have already been infested, there are several methods of killing off the pests. Some entail using natural methods, while others use chemicals that help treat infested firewood. You can opt to do it yourself or call professional pest control to handle the task.
Let’s explore some of the methods:
Dry Up Your Firewood
Smaller pieces of wood dry faster, eliminating dampness. So if you want to avoid termite infestation, chop your wood into smaller pieces. Moreover, smaller pieces make it more challenging for these pests to create mud tunnels.
Keep The Wood Under Direct Sunlight
If your firewood supply is in the early stages of infestation, take it outside and place the wood directly under the sun. Not only does it help to dry up damp wood, but it also makes the termites flee.
Termites prefer super dark hidden spots for safety. Too much sunlight makes them uncomfortable and they will look to relocate somewhere else, thus leaving the firewood alone. Sunlight, hence, not only helps repel termites but also helps to prevent them from infesting your stack.
Quarantine Infested Wood
Remove all the infested wood and quarantine it to remove termite infestation and prevent it from spreading further. After keeping the wood away, mark it as the first batch of wood to burn off. This will permanently eradicate the termite infestation from the roots.
Try the Killer Vinegar Blend
Vinegar is well-known for killing pests inside your home. To eradicate termites from your firewood, all you have to do is:
- Mix water and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio, depending upon surface area dimensions.
- Add a dash of pure lemon juice to this mix.
- Pour it inside a spray container.
- Spray it over the mud tunnels and holes in your firewood to kill the termites.
- Let the wood pieces dry under the sun, and repeat the process after 2-3 days.
- This technique will take you a week or two to eliminate the termites in your firewood forever.
Call Pest Control
If you are overwhelmed with worry about the growing termite infestation, call the pros at work! Professional pest control agencies will help you eradicate termites permanently, prevent them from spreading to other buildings, and ensure your firewood is safe and ready to use.
You can store firewood outdoors and on an elevated surface to avoid termite infestation.
As discussed, there are many ways to detect if there are termites around your logs. However, if termites attack your stock of wood, you can always try the methods above to kill them off in no time. Try these tactics today for safe and secure firewood maintenance!